VW reaffirms commitment to sell mid-sized SUV in the US

Article by Anita Panait, on July 13, 2013

Volkswagen AG chief executive Martin Winterkorn has reiterated the carmaker's commitment to selling a mid-sized sports utility vehicle in the United States. During a closed-door meeting with the brand's US dealers, Winterkorn said VW needs to and will take initiative in the mid-sized SUV segment of the US vehicle market, according to a transcript of his remarks viewed by Automotive News.

Winterkorn's statement is a clear sign that VW is nearing a decision to produce an SUV larger than the current Tiguan and less expensive than the Touareg. The Volkswagen brand is targeting to sell 800,000 vehicles annually in the US by 2018, nearly twice its sales in 2012. Members of the VW's executive board told Automotive News in March 2013 that a business plan for an SUV was in development.

The members added that there is still room to build an assembly line for the SUV at VW's assembly site in Chattanooga. At the meeting, Winterkorn brought with him the three-row, seven-seat CrossBlue SUV Concept that the carmaker unveiled at the 2013 Detroit auto show.

It also brought the five-seat CrossBlue Coupe SUV Concept that was shown at the 2013 Shanghai auto show. US dealers have been clamoring for years for such SUV that would be another volume model that would go along with mass-market sedans such as the Jetta and Passat.

Painted in a color known as “CrossBlue Glass Flake,” this latest offering from Volkswagen has an overall length of 4,987 mm, width of 2,015 mm, and total height measuring 1,733 mm. The widths of the tracks have been increased with the front at 1,686 mm and the rear having 1,696 mm. With this, the VW CrossBlue Concept is able to get a more confident stance when on the road.

Helping with this impression is the combination of the flared wheel arches and the alloy 21-inch wheels equipped with the 285/45 tires. Meanwhile the dominant track widths help highlight this model’s masculine image. The dynamic proportions are also focused on with the large wheels and the wide and long hood. The stainless steel look of the body trim helps provide contrast to the color of the exterior.

This particular feature goes all around the lower section of this model’s body. Volkswagen said that development of this SUV’s exterior was made possible through a design team that was headed by Marc Lichte. As mentioned earlier, the exterior reveals a long and pronounced hood. To help the engine, air inlets have been incorporated to the hood. Meanwhile the overhang in the front was made shorter with the length of the roof line increased.

Because of this, the profile of the CrossBlue Concept appears to rise towards the back. Strengthening this visual feel is the character line which begins from the headlights and then gently becomes wider as it goes to the rear before ending at the tail lights. As expected from a VW model, there is a line that terminates to the row of the side windows. Meanwhile, the windows have a solid frame composed of aluminum.

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Topics: vw, suv

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